Midfielder hoping to return soonJem Karacan wants the Royals to end the calendar year by laying the foundations for a fast start to 2015, as he steps up his recovery from a long-term knee problem.
Before 2014 reaches its conclusion, Reading travel to Brighton on Boxing Day and then host Norwich at the Madejski just 48 hours later.
And the midfielder is keen for his side build up some momentum to coincide with his return to fitness, starting at Brighton on Friday afternoon.
“Brighton will be a tough game,” said Karacan, who hopes to make his comeback in the New Year. “They’ve found themselves down there this season. It’s a surprise where they are because they were up in the play-off places last season but this league is unpredictable - you play against tough teams every week.
“Obviously we just need to focus on that game, not worry about their or our league position, and try to put on a good performance to get the three points. It will be an important game for us. We want to get a good couple of results going into the New Year and hopefully start looking towards the teams above us.
“We need to go down there, put on a good performance and hopefully pick up some points.”
He continued: “Norwich, we beat them a couple of weeks ago away, they’ll be coming here as a team that wants to be fighting in the play-offs.
“They’re all tough games in this league; there aren’t any easy ones and they come thick and fast. We need to get together, get positive and starting focusing on Boxing Day.”
Having sustained a horrible knee injury against Leeds United last season, Karacan made his return to full training last week under new manager Steve Clarke.
“I’ve finally got my boots on and I’m back outside,” said the midfielder. “I’ve done it a couple of times before but I’m actually back in full training with the boys now. I’ve really missed it out there.
“It’s nice to be back out there but it’s not about me, though, it’s about the games on a Saturday and it was obviously disappointing on against Watford Saturday.
“We were frustrated; we had our chances and sadly we didn’t take them. On another day we would have won three or four nil but we lost 1-0. We’ve got to stay positive. We’re on a bit of a downward spiral and we need to pick ourselves up. The games are coming thick and fast, so we need to go again.”